Nicolina F. Balsamo, 79, of Chatham, died peacefully Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at Overlook Hospital after a courageous battle with esophageal cancer. She was surrounded by her children and grandchildren
Born July 9, 1933 in Newark, NJ, Nickie was the daughter of the late Salvatore and Mary (Sorrentino) Buscaino. She was a 1953 graduate of Summit High School and recently served on the reunion committee. She was predeceased by her beloved husband Thomas L. in 2009.
Nickie’s life revolved around her family. She and her husband Tom married in 1955, and later moved to Chatham where she lived for over 50 years. Her children will remember her not only as a loving devoted mother, but also as a strong, energetic multi-tasker and a tough act to follow. While raising her five children, she was president of the Home & School Association at Saint Patrick School, worked as a custodian there, and later became a crossing guard for the Chatham Borough Police Department. She enjoyed working at the police department for 40 years retiring in March 2013. Folks in town knew her best as the parking enforcement officer, especially if they parked illegally at the local train station.
She was a superb cook, and is best remembered by her family for her famous Christmas Eve feasts. Nickie was known to supply many tasty treats to the “guys” at the police department, her second family. She was a talented seamstress. She also lovingly crocheted afghans for her grandchildren.
She was a parishioner at Saint Patrick Church where she and her husband served as ushers for several years. She was a member of the Fish Organization providing shopping and transportation to local senior citizens. She was an avid bowler and loved vacationing at the Jersey shore.
Nickie’s strength, courage and boundless love will be remembered by her children: Kathy Vouglas and husband Tom of Lopatcong Township; Marion McCarrick and husband Chris of Toms River; Fred and wife Faith of Garwood; Sally Bringard and husband Bob of Wilmington, NC; and Tom and wife Cathy of Berkeley Heights.
She proudly boasted of her 14 grandchildren: Billy Fricke and wife Danielle; Jessica Fricke; Tom Vouglas, Jr.; Tiffany and Kimberly McCarrick; Megan Reeg and husband Brian; Michael McCarrick and wife Lauren; Brielle and Blake Balsamo; Katie and Tommy Balsamo; Carly Bollard; and Danielle and Timothy Bringard
Nickie was even prouder of her great-grandchildren Rowen, Maeleigh and Greyson Fricke, and Hannah and Michael McCarrick, and was crocheting afghans in the anticipation of Caleb McCarrick (September) and Baby Reeg (November).
She will be sadly missed by her brother Frank Buscaino and wife Mary of New Providence, and several nieces and nephews.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick Church, corner of Washington Ave. and Chatham St., on Friday, June 7, 2013 at 11 a.m. An interment will follow at Fair Mount Cemetery, Chatham. Friends may call at the Wm. A. Bradley & Son Funeral Home, 345 Main St., Chatham on Thursday, June 6 from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m.